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year's to be signed into law. today is the 27. and so you have a few days left for lawmakers to make a deal. the president's should land at some point. there is a 5 hour time difference. they have to figure out something. it seems likely will go over the cliff. it has been looking like that before the holiday, but certainly now, particularly if you remember for congress broke for the christmas break, speaker raynor was not able to get the backup plan through his caucus, so there was no pressure on democrats to try to counter that immediately. senate democrats saying we passed a bill that raises tax rates on incomes over $250,000, we ran on this and this is what we are offering. house republicans were saying, no, we want to negotiate something, figure it out and send it to us. someone is going to have to move. the question is, who? the president met with senate majority leader harry reid before going to hawaii and his offer was to extend the tax cuts for incomes under $250,000, extend unemployment insurance benefits, and the lady across -- and then delay the across the board automati
was described as an antidote and he promised to deliver. he practiced international trade law and washington. on behalf of the west virginia state society, i would like to introduce ira shapiro. thank you. [applause] >> thank you for the kind introduction. thank you to the society for giving me the chance to be here. thanks to mike who did so much to organize the event. he is an old friend. thank you, mike. i'm delighted to be here today with corbin. -- david corbin. we have two books that talk about robert byrd from different perspectives. my book is basically about the senate and the last great senate as i refer to it. senator byrd was the majority leader during the period of time i wrote about. it gives you an ensemble sense of how the senate works. the book originated in 2008. i had been in the senate in the 1970s and 1980s. by 2008, i decided the senate had become utterly unrecognizable to me. polarized and paralyzed, really quite dysfunctional. i decided to write a book about the senate when it was great, specifically when i was there. [laughter] when you do something like that, you ha
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